Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Obama Takes The Rubber Match

The Return Of Multiple Choice Mitt

Snap polls from CNN, PPP and CBS News gave President Obama the victory in the foreign policy debate.

In the CNN-ORC poll, 48 percent of voters said Obama won; 40 percent said Romney did. Public Policy Polling's swing state poll gave it to Obama by 53 percent to 42 percent. The CBS poll of uncommitted voters was more dramatic: Obama took 53 percent, Romney took 23 percent, and another 24 percent called it a tie.

Following is a series of observations over the course of the debate. 

The U.S. is not like Greece
During his closing statement, Romney said that the U.S. is headed down a path like that of Greece. But Greece, contrary to popular belief, had a revenue problem rather than a spending problem. While its spending was high compared to US standards — 50.4 percent of GDP compared to 38 percent of GDP in the US — its spending was average among European nations. As CAP’s Michael Linden and Sabina Dewan note, “Over the past 10 years, Greece has consistently spent less, as a share of GDP, than the European Union as a whole.” However, it generated less that 40 percent of GDP from revenue — one of the lowest rates in the EU.

Romney says that he'd let Detroit go bankrupt is 'height of silliness'
His plan for the auto bailout, however, would have ensured the collapse of the auto industry. In his editorial titled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,” Romney advocated for letting the private sector finance the bankruptcy of General Motors and Chrysler. Auto insiders, however, have said that plan was “reckless” and “pure fantasy.”

Romney forgets deficits are a result of his pro-war policies
Most of the deficit problems the country is faces were caused not by the Democratic policies of Obama, but by those of President George W Bush — particularly, the Iraq war, which was pushed by many of Romney’s advisers:

China's currency has appreciated
The value of the yuan has actually appreciated — though admittedly not as much as it should have — against the dollar since Obama took office. The administration has built an international coalition that is accelerating a move toward market driven exchange rates.

Romney invested in a company that made its workers train their Chinese replacements
Romney’s firm invested in a Chinese company that touted low wages, stringent working conditions and low tax liability. Recently, a company Romney invested in forced its employees to train their Chinese replacements before being fired.

Romney aides praise Obama on China
Top Romney foreign policy adviser Robert Kagan has gone on the record saying that Obama is effective, saying “I think he has a good policy in Asia, particularly in dealing with China.”

Romney attacks Obama on Middle East peace
Romney attacked Obama for the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process. That’s odd because Romney said he has no interest in helping achieve peace. “There’s just no way” to achieve Middle East peace, he said at a fundraiser, adding that his policy will be to “kick the can down the the field" and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it.

Romney doesn't have a plan to help veterans
Romney has resisted releasing concrete plans of how he would take care of the extremely high number of veterans in this country. When asked by Reuters for specific policy proposals, the campaign released a one-page document that did not get specific.

Romney’s plan for withdrawal from Afghanistan is the same as Obama’s
As he has in the debate, Romney recently called for a “complete a successful transition to Afghan security forces by the end of 2014.” This is Obama’s policy and the current military strategy in Afghanistan.

Obama: 'It was worth moving heaven and earth' to get bin Laden
That’s true – the deceased leader’s compound in Abottabad yielded a “treasure trove” of intelligence on al Qaeda.

Romney adviser on Israel attacking Iran
Dan Senor, Mitt Romney’s senior foreign policy adviser, said in late July: “If Israel has to take action on its own, in order to stop Iran from developing the capability, the governor would respect that decision.”

Obama has been praised by the Israeli president and defense minister
Obama’s thrown Israel under the bus? That must be news to Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who told CNN, “President Obama is doing . . . more than anything that I can remember in the past [in regard to our security].”
“When I look at the record of President Obama concerning the major issues, security, I think it’s a highly satisfactory record, from an Israeli point of view,”said Israeli President Shimon Peres.

Romney repeats 'apology tour' lie
Romney again said that Obama went on an “apology tour” around the world upon becoming president. “There was no apology tour,” the Washington Post fact checker noted. “This has been the biggest whopper that has been told on this campaign,” Obama replied.

Iranian activists supported Obama's response to Green Revolution
Shirin Ebadi, Iran’s Nobel Peace Prize winning activist, believed Obama’s approach was appropriate, saying: “What happens in Iran regards the people themselves, and it is up to them to make their voices heard. I respect his comments on all the events in Iran, but I think it is sufficient.”

Iran hasn’t made a decision about nuclear weapons
Israeli and American intelligence and the International Atomic Energy Agency believe that Iran hasn’t decided to develop nuclear weapons.

Romney admits Obama's sanctions work
That’s not the line his campaign has been peddling.

Our ship production is just fine
Romney would like to bring ship production for the American Navy back up to the levels it was at toward the end of the Cold War. Reduction in the number of ships produced is not a policy of the Obama administration, it’s a trend. During George W. Bush’s presidency, in fact, fewer ships were produced than under Obama:

Romney can't say how he pays for military spending increase
Romney’s campaign has not been able to say how Romney would finance his plan to increase military spending by $2.1 trillion. One Romney adviser said that Romney will continue war spending indefinitely. When asked to explain tonight, Romney said, “Go to my website.” Go to the website. There’s no answer.

Romney education policies were 'inconsequential'
Romney touted his supposed success with education policy in Massachusetts. But education experts have faint praise for his proposals while he was governor. “His impact was inconsequential,” said Glen Koocher, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees. “People viewed his proposals as political talking points, and no one took Romney seriously.”

Repealing Obamacare Would Reduce Deficit
Mitt Romney claimed during Monday's debate that repealing health care reform would reduce the federal budget deficit.
In fact, repealing Obamacare would increase the deficit by $109 billion over the next 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office, since Obamacare saves money for the government.

Remember when Romney said America doesn't 'need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers'
Romney’s the one who said we don’t need more teachers or firefighters. Here’s the full quote of him attacking Obama for wanting more workers in those sectors: “he wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”

Whether Obama should have spoken up more in favor of the Green Revolution
Romney’s belief that Obama didn’t do enough to support Iran’s 2009 Green Revolution has been well-documented. In a foreign policy speechat the Virginia Military Institute in early October, Romney said “when millions of Iranians took to the streets… when they cried out, ‘Are you with us, or are you with them?’—the American President was silent.” Yet would aligning with the fledgling opposition movement have helped? Probably not – many believe it would have discredited the movement and only served to destroy their attempts at democratizing Iran.

Romney proposal for solving Syria crisis might actually make things worse
During his much-panned foreign policy speech, Romney only briefly mentioned possible solutions to the various problems around the world. In speaking on Syria, Romney said he would seek to “work with our partners to identify and organize those members of the opposition who share our values and ensure they obtain the arms they need to defeat Assad’s tanks, helicopters, and fighter jets.” In actuality, this would be extremely difficult to achieve and is hindered by the fact that, according to a recent New York Times report, the major beneficiary of current arms flows into Syria are jihadist groups.
Romney didn’t offer any different policy on Syria, repeating Obama’s stance during the debate. The Romney campaign has not been able to offer any difference on Syria throughout the campaign.

Romney: Syria is Iran's route to the sea
No, it’s not. Iran has access to the Strait of Hormuz, which is an extremely important choke point in the Persian Gulf.

 Romney once advocated for a 'no-drive zone' in Syria
In a debate on November 22, 2011, Mitt Romney floated the idea of a “no-drive” zone in Syria – a total military interdiction on ground vehicles. How this would be accomplished is less than clear, as it would involve massive air support of such an operation.

Obama zinger against Romney's outdated policy
 “The 1980s called, they want their foreign policy back,” Obama said to Romney, referring to the former governor’s Cold War mentality. Romney had previously claimed that Russia remains the US’s “number one geopolitical foe.”

Romney used to be 'severely conservative'
Romney closed the debate tonight talking about his time as Massachusetts governor and his ability to “reach across the aisle.” Now that we’re so close to the election, Romney is trying to show how moderate he is, but that’s a big change in tune from a few months ago when we was trying to convince Americans he was “severely conservative.”


  1. Favorite post-debate tweet:

    John Kerry
    wasn't joking when I said I'd need exorcism post-debate tonight after months playing Mitt Romney cc: @stefcutter pic.twitter.com/vp24O8iK

    (Kerry played Romney in President's debate prep)

  2. Hi Ken,

    Have you noticed the general trend amongst news outlets to declare Obama the winner of round III, but in a way that makes Romney look good? I mean, they are saying things like "he didn't make any gaffes," and how important taht was for Romney, and "not a knockout punch," delivered by Obama, and things of that nature. Is it possible Romney lost on purpose, but only by a little bit? My God it is so intriguing.

    Anyway, with two weeks to go this thing has, after Obama led the polls for the last year, become a statistical dead heat. Really Ken, does it get any better. Booyah!!

    BTW. I can't read your post if you have that video of the talking head blocking the text. There isn't even an 'x' to get rid of it, what is up with that?

    1. Peeps:
      As regards your BTW:
      I'm not sure what you mean. What browser are you using?

    2. Thanks. For some reason it was OK in Google Chrome (which I use), but it was messed up in Explorer. I think that I'Ve fixed it.


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